Monthly Archives: November 2010

THWG Thought of the Day: 11/27

Men, Georgie’s a fine football team, a very fine football team. Georgie’s bigger and faster than we are. Probably a little tougher, too.

That’s okay, because we’re smarter than they are.

Now, let me tell you what’s going to happen. That Georgie team’s going to come running out of the tunnel screaming and foaming at the mouth and smashing one another upside the head just to get warmed up.

We won’t do any of that. While they waste their energy, we’ll conserve ours. I’ve told you that they’re bigger, faster, and tougher than you. That’s true. But we do have that one big advantage.

We … are … smarter.

Think about what I teach you. Play field position. Play great defense. Make no mistakes on offense. Be great in the kicking game. Do that and we’ll keep it close.

As the game goes on, they’ll start to get tired because they wasted so much energy in the beginning. Because we’re smart, we’ll have plenty of energy left, and at some point in the fourth quarter they’ll make a mistake.

When they do make that mistake, we’ll get the football. And when that happens, I’ll think of something and we’ll win!

Coach Bobby Dodd, as told by Bill Curry

This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

Well, it’s the last full-fledged column of the year. Are you ready?

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Michigan @ Ohio State (ABC): And the Big Ten’s biggest rivalry is renewed once again, this year a week later, however. Nonetheless, Ohio State should maintain the recent tradition of beating Michigan.
  • Boston College @ Syracuse (ESPN): Boston College has put together a nice little run for themselves over the last month of the season, whereas the ‘Cuse is scuffling a bit at the end. I think this’ll continue and that BC should win.
  • Michigan State @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN2): Well, I think JoePa should retire, but then again, who’s going to tell him that he should? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Meanwhile, Sparty’s looked awfully shaky over the last month or so, but how can you pick against them? Well, I can’t anyway.
  • South Florida @ Miami (ESPNU): It’s a quarterback controversy in Coral Gables! Either way, Miami should win.
  • Tulane @ Marshall (CBSCS): If you like watching 4-7 teams play each other, well have I got the matchup for you! Anyway, Marshall’s defense is something I would generously call “suspect” so I’ll take Tulane here.
  • Indiana @ Purdue (BTN): It’s the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket! While Purdue has been “scrappy” and “competitive” despite a boatload of injuries this season, Indiana has just been awful in conference play (two wins versus none, respectively). I’ll take the Boilermakers.
  • Kentucky @ Tennessee (SEC): Well, both these teams are sort of crawling toward the finish. Tennessee needs a win to get bowl eligible. I don’t think they’ll get it.
  • Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ACC): Well, it’s UVA and VPI again. I was going to ask aloud how this game ended up on Raycom but then I realied I don’t really care about it either. VPI has won every contest since 2003 and that shouldn’t change here.

12:30: Kansas vs. Missouri (@Kansas City, MO; FSN): Speaking of playing out the string, Mizzou should take care of Kansas in this neutral-site rivalry.


  • Louisiana State @ Arkansas (@Little Rock, AR; CBS): It’s the War Memorial Stadium special of the year for Arkansas, which certainly would make this an attractive upset pick. I can’t really pull the trigger on that though.
  • Northwestern @ Wisconsin (ABC/ESPN): Well, the ride that was this year for Northwestern came to a screeching halt last week at Wrigley with that somewhat inexplicable loss to Illinois. Wisconsin should seal up a Rose Bowl bid here.
  • Florida @ Florida State (ABC/ESPN): This is tough. I’ve been pessimistic on FSU for a few weeks now and am actually picking Florida to win in my bowl predictions, so I’ll still with that. I think it will be close though.
  • North Carolina State @ Maryland (ESPN2): If NC State wins, they wrap up the ACC Atlantic and will appear in next week’s (almost sold out!) ACC Championship Game. Otherwise, FSU will get in. I think NCSU should be able to take care of UMD and get into the title game, though.
  • North Carolina @ Duke (ESPNU): Not quite as exciting as the basketball version, that’s for sure. UNC should win easily.
  • Iowa @ Minnesota (BTN): Speaking of winning easily, Iowa.

4:00: Texas Christian @ New Mexico (Versus): TCU should wrap up a perfect season here. Will it be enough to get an invite to a BCS bowl? We’ll see.


  • South Carolina @ Clemson (ESPN2): Our second SEC-ACC matchup of the day, the Gamecocks travel to their upstate counterparts, and should come away with the win as long as they’re not getting to eager to face Auburn next week.
  • Mississippi State @ Mississippi (ESPNU): Egg Bowl! For the first time in awhile, Mississippi State is the obvious favorite here, as Ole Miss has simply had a trainwreck that not even the Right Reverend Houston Nutt can fix.

7:30: Oregon State @ Stanford (Versus): What in the hell happened to the Beavers? They’ve lost to UCLA and both Washington teams but somehow beat Arizona and USC. At 5-5 and Stanford and Oregon remaining on the schedule, this is one of the big reasons why the Pac-10 won’t have more than 4 teams go bowling.

7:45: Georgia Tech @ Georgia (ESPN): To Hell with Georgia.


  • Notre Dame @ Southern California (ABC): Well, Notre Dame has woken up the echoes the past couple of weeks but I still like USC here.
  • Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (ABC): It’s Bedlam! I used to have a soft spot for this game, but it’s sort of gotten away from the Cowboys, who haven’t won since 2002 and have gotten blown out in the last two contests. Nonetheless, I still like them here to clinch the Big 12 South and face Nebraska next week.

Bowl Predictions 2010: Week 6

It’s that time once again. Or, by most measures, it’s about time it’s that time once again. Anyway, the predictions are here. Let’s get started.

  • First, since I waited so long to do this, my prediction that Texas would lose to TAMU has come to pass, meaning that they will not be in a bowl game for the first time since 1997. Which got me to thinking: I’ve been doing this thing since 1999, so what teams have been in every edition of the predictions? Well, the list isn’t very long: Florida State, Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Oklahoma.
  • The BCS is a mess right now. For starters, I think I’m the only person on the Internet who thinks Auburn is going to win, so I have them in the title game. I also still have Boise and TCU in, though I think Boise will pass TCU. I have a pretty good idea what the Rose and Sugar will do (take their obligatory non-AQ hit and take a Big Ten team, respectively) but after that I’m not sure. The Orange, however, surely doesn’t cherish either of it’s options: take a faraway at-large like TCU or Stanford, or take whichever 4-loss team emerges from the Big East. I think they’ll bite the bullet and take Pitt (or UConn, or WVU, or whoever it is) leaving the final potential PR nightmare to the Fiesta. I almost think they have to take TCU at this point. But since I seem to differ from everyone else on the Internet on this I could be wrong.
  • At this point in the year, there’s enough solid rumors that I stop guessing as much and try to find as much information for each bowl as I can. This harder than it may seem, because for at least half the bowls no one really cares. (Search for “New Orleans Bowl” in Google news and see what you get. Not much.) Generally, team beat writers and hometown papers for the bowls are the best sources, as they generally talk to bowl commissioners and have at least an idea of what their bowl prospects are. This enabled me to make at least once correction this week, as I moved Alabama from the Cotton to the Capital One Bowl, which triggered a huge shift in the way I was allocating the SEC bids.
  • There’s some potential shenanigans with the Liberty Bowl, but for now I’m going with C-USA vs. SEC. I favor the Liberty over the Compass for now since the Liberty has a higher payout.
  • No idea where Notre Dame is going to end up. If they upset USC then they could steal a spot from the Big East and into the Champs Sports Bowl, but otherwise they’ll probably be the most attractive prize among the 6-6 at-larges. We’ll know more Sunday.
  • The only teams that have been invited so far are marked with double asterisks, and they are Navy, Hawaii, and Army.
  • For Georgia Tech, everything hinges on beating UGA. If we (somehow) win, then I could see us in the Music City Bowl, and I’ve even heard the words “Champs Sports” being tossed around though I really doubt they will take us above Miami or NC State. (Especially Miami if they get Notre Dame.) Lose and it’s pretty bleak. The Independence is probably a best-case scenario, as the only other remaining teams at that point are likely us, Maryland, and Boston College. I would think the Military Bowl would take Maryland. I don’t really know why the Independence would take BC over us, but you never know.
  • Remember how the Pac-10 only got two teams into the NCAA tournament last March (and only because Cal lost in the Pac-10 title game)? Well, they’re trying that again here. Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona are locks to make bowls, but outside of that really only the winner of the Washington-California game has a chance of making it to 6 wins. USC would be in a game but they are, of course, ineligible. Which is a real bummer, as I’m all for the Pac-10’s round robin conference schedule, but a few more teams would definitely be in if that 9th game were replaced by Portland State.
  • There’s probably just enough action next weekend to hold off the vast majority of invites because of conference title games and the uncertainty of who will get into the BCS. So this will one come down to the wire, to say the least.

Enjoy rivalry weekend, folks!

This Week in College Football: Week 13

Lots of football this week, especially with a jam packed Black Friday slate. So why get up before dawn to sit in the cold only to discover that you weren’t one of the first three people in line for that 55″ TV? Your existing 42″ one is probably good enough to watch the following games anyway.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

7:00: Temple @ Miami (ESPN): Okay, this game already kicked off, so I’m a bit late to the party here. So I won’t predict anything.

8:00: Texas Agricultural and Mechanical @ Texas (ESPN): What a terrible year for Texas, eh? They join the miser zone for two other BCS teams last year (Florida and Georgia Tech) whose 2010 seasons are not quite living up to the hype. With that said, I don’t think they really stand a chance again TAMU.


  • Louisville @ Rutgers (ESPN2): Who wants to win the Big East? Okay, it probably won’t be one of these two teams, but you never know. Especially about the Big East. I think Rutgers can win this one.
  • Ohio @ Kent State (ESPNU): Ohio should wrap up the MAC East in this early Friday MACtion.

12:00: West Virginia @ Pittsburgh (ABC): It’s the Backyard Brawl, with a special helping of “Who Wants to Win the Big East?” Pitt is in pretty good shape, but if they lose, then Connecticut controls their own destiny in the Big east. Yup. That said, Pitt should win, for whatever that means in the context of the Big East.

2:00: Southern Methodist @ East Carolina (CBSCS): SMU clinches a C-USA West title here with a win, a win that would also help Southern Miss in the East. ECU just got torched by a very moribund Rice squad as they posses one of the worst defenses in the country, so I actually like SMU here.

2:30: Auburn @ Alabama (CBS): Well, here it is. Alabama is a slight favorite right now, and as I’ve discovered now that I’m starting to check the news for the bowl projections, that a lot of people think Auburn will lose. Okay, yeah, this is not a lights out Auburn defense. But this isn’t last year’s Alabama defense either. They got passed all over by Arkansas, and then they lost to South Carolina and LSU. While I generally don’t adhere to the transitive property when it comes to college football, I can’t help but note that Auburn has beaten both of those teams, and, in fact, has no losses. (I think it is fair, though, to point out this is only Auburn’s fourth home game all year.) That said, I will take Auburn straight up. Well, unless something happens between now and Friday re: Cam Newton, which I doubt.


  • Colorado @ Nebraska (ABC): Yeah, cool, Colorado won last weekend against K-State and Nebraska probably got jobbed in College Station. Huskers should still win this one and wrap up the Big 12 North.
  • California-Los Angeles @ Arizona State (FSN): Since I haven’t posted this week’s bowl predictions this week, did you know that the Pac-10 could only have four bowl eligible teams. Which sucks that’s considered “a thing” because I favor a round-robin conference schedule. ASU is already ineligible because with two DI-AA teams and six losses they can’t qualify. UCLA can if they run the table starting here, but I don’t think they will.

6:30: Southern Mississippi @ Tulsa (CBSCS): That said, USM’s remote C-USA East hopes lie on an extremely unlikely UCF loss to Memphis. That said, USM played well last weekend despite everything, and I think that trend continues.

7:00: Arizona @ Oregon (ESPN): While Cal defended Oregon about as well as you can, they’ve had a week to think about it. While Arizona is a good team, the Ducks should take care of business back home in Eugene.

10:15: Boise State @ Nevada (ESPN): I will like this game a whole bunch if Nevada can figure out a way to not get blown out. While Nevada is solid, I’m not sure how they can defend Boise. The best case scenario for Nevada is to hope the game turns into something a track meet, but Boise has crushed all their other WAC opposition, and I don’t think that there’s anything about Nevada’s defense that won’t prevent that happening to them.